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Climber
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Discussion Starter #1
does anyone own or has anyone ridden the Avant? I really like the way it looks. I had a Vision, aluminum frame, but the head tube cracked this year. they offered me a deal on a new frame & I'm trying to decide what to get. of course there are minimal dealers around so I can't actually try one before I buy it. <sigh>

one other thing... how fragile is the carbon fiber? do I run the risk of one scratch trashing the whole thing?

thanks
 

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I will post a review in a week or so. My frameset should be here to be built up in a day or two. I've been waiting since last October to get the frame. I dont think there are any Avants in the US as of right now, per Albabici(US distributer). They are waiting for a shipment of around 50 Avant framesets to arrive from Italy in few weeks. I was frustrated with the wait, and I was going to cancel the order, but then they are sending a frameset from Milano, IT to my bike shop directly, so I decided to wait few days longer.
 

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Climber
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for responding... I am very interested in your opinion. I had this feeling that they didn't have any in the US as of yet. just sent an email to Albabici to check for sure tho.
 

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Hi guys. I am glad I found other Avant fans.

The Avant Frames are in the states and available.
At least they were yesterday, 5-1-06.
Check with R&A Cycles in New York...www.racycles.com
Talk to Al.
They are building a 55cm Avant for me. It's shipping out Friday.
I have a DeRosa Super Prestige I got back in 1983. It's now my Fixed Gear Bike.
I have lusted after the Avant for over a year.
The last road bike I had was a 2005 Trek Madone. I did a few reviews on the ride of the Madone for Bike Barn in Houston, Texas. I rode a Specialized Tarmac for a couple months. It was brutally stiff. But very fast accelerating. I recently got to ride on a Lightspeed Pavia. It felt sluggish and non responsive. Of the three I liked the way the Madone rode. It's the only one that was not a sloping or compact geometry. I tend to like the sloping frames and the way they ride. I was surprised how well the Madone rode.Very true in corners. Very responsive and nimble when standing and sprinting.
I am anxious to ride the Avant. It is being built with a Record group except the cranks. I opted for the FSA SLK crankset. And the Eurus wheelset.

Thanks
Jeff
 

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AVANT from R & A

Let us know how she rides !! Sound ' s like a Great SPEC !! How much does the complete bike weigh ?? What accent color / frameset ?? Wheels ?? Black or Silver ??
 

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I spoke with Al at R&A Cycles this morning. They are shipping her out today Fedex overnight. She will be here tomorrow.

She is stacked like this:
Avant Frame 55cm. Red accent line.
DeRosa Carbon Seat Post
Campy Record integrated headset.
Record group (Black) except cranks and BB.
FSA SLK Carbon Cranks, K-force Carbon bar and K-force Carbon stem.
Eurus wheels (Black). Full Titanium Record cassette. Ultra narrow Record Chain.
Vittoria Open Pro Corsa tires (Black).
Look Keo Carbon/Ti pedals.
Arundel carbon water bottle cages.

Al said after the build they put her on the scale and it read 15.5 pounds.
I will be on the edge of my seat until she arrives.
As soon as someone can peel me off of her, I will post my thoughts on her road manerisms, abilities and handling characteristics.

Thanks for the interest guys.
 

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The first idea was to rapidly accumulate 500 miles on her and give her an Italian name. She is Italian, you know?

After four days we had been together 505 miles and we had a short list of names we both liked.

Day five was a short day but her voice and heart came alive on a quiet street at about 35 MPH.

Her name was decided then. She must have a thousand miles before it’s official and we can tell everyone.

How about a thousand miles in ten days I say. She giggles and splits the wind. We dance all the way home.

As much as I love to ride her she loves the ride more, I think. I hear her whispering to me.

She loves her name and wants the formality over. She is ready for her coming out party. Ready to spread her wings.

The start of day nine we had 932 miles. Today was going to be busy for me. Art car parade. Work. Two parties.

We took the long way to party number one. 8 blocks away we rode 17 miles round trip. She was the hit of the party.

As I headed to party number two on the mountain bike I thought about day ten and the 51 miles that would make her name official.

Where will we go? Where will mile number 1000 be? Who will be there with us?

The party was great. A rooftop in downtown Houston. The humidity was low. The temperature was mild. The moon was full. The guests were nice.

I only knew the birthday girl and her best friend. We danced. We limbo’d. We sang Happy Birthday.

From the rooftop looking out into the sea of lights I saw the streets that we ride. The regular routes.

I heard her whispering to me. She wants her name. I must go. I make the rounds, say goodbyes and head down the stairs.

Arriving at the shop I change clothes and shoes. I fill one water bottle. Load a Rice Krispy Treat in my jersey pocket and hit the door.

We head west on White Oak as fast as we can go. Turn south into the wind and she slides through it as the spokes sing to us.

Avoiding as many lights as possible and wringing every gear to a sick high cadence before shifting we make our way to Memorial Drive.

Heading west we take aim on Hwy 6. A right turn and a tail wind have us scorching this last 50 miles.

Somewhere along the Hwy 290 feeder road we got close enough to realize that we are about roll over a thousand miles in less than 10 days.

On 43rd street at about 1am we completed mile 1000. I stopped and we sat for a minute.

Mia Aniela is here. She is my Dream Bike.

Mia – My or Mine.
Aniela – Angel or Angelic.

She’s My Angel


4:45 Friday morning we started what would be our longest day yet. I arrived at Starbuck’s as they opened the door at 5AM.

I mixed my sugar, milk and coffee concoction and poured it into my water bottle as Bob Wright arrived. He laughed at the sight of me because I just can never seem to wake up early enough to make it here by 5:30. I explained to Bob and the just arriving Herb that the only way I could make it today was by staying up all night. I rode my mountain bike off and on Thursday night until about 3AM.

Then I took a shower to wake up. I checked my e-mail and worked on my web site for a bit and then left for Starbuck’s. I peeled off from the rest of the group after about 25 miles and headed for IHOP. I grubbed on Pancakes covered in Blueberries, eggs and bacon. After that I went to the shop to get extra tubes and CO2. I returned a few e-mails and then left, headed north.

I went towards Tomball and Magnolia. The wind was pretty fierce from the southwest. I was hoping it would change after this humid front blew through but no such luck. By the time I got to Magnolia the wind was ripping at 20 mph. As I turned left onto FM 1488 and into the wind I was at mile 70 and I was glad I was with Mia. I would not want to be this far from home into this wind on my mountain bike.

I stopped just after the turn and refilled water bottles. Salty cashews, Pepsi and a couple chocolate moon pie were fuel. As I headed back into the wind I wondered how long this day would be. I have done 200+ miles in a day a few times. The first time I was unable to walk the following day and I had 4 riders with me. The first time I rode 200 solo miles was from Saarbruken, Germany to Heidelburg and back through the villages along B-40. The longest day so far with Mia was 170. That was mostly around Houston, out to Pasadena and to Katy. The ride from Magnolia to Brenham is very scenic. There’s even a pasture full of miniature horses.

As I rolled into Brenham I was looking for water. It was hot and it felt like the wind was getting stronger. I filled water bottles quickly and headed on towards Bellville where I planned to eat lunch. About fifteen minutes later I was at mile 100. In Bellville I ate a cheeseburger from Hilltop Burger and then got back on the road with a couple of ice cream sandwiches in my jersey pocket. They were gone before I got out of town. I went through Nelsonville, Industry and Fayetteville on my way to LaGrange where I refilled water bottles and filled jersey pockets with fuel and headed west on Hwy 71. At mile 181 I entered Bastrop state Park and began the short loop that exited on Hwy 365 and back to Hwy 71. As I turned onto Hwy 71 I realized I had the wind behind me, finally. I continued on Hwy 71 to Smithville and turned north onto 2104 where I really got the wind behind me. I was on the home stretch, now.

I stopped in Winchester to refill my water bottles one last time. I checked the odometer. It read 203 miles. For a few minutes I sat with Mia under a tree just looking at her. She has been ridden hard today. She’s got sweat all over her. There’s ice cream on her down tube and Pepsi on her top tube. I can’t remember loving the ride of a bike more than this beauty I have here. I am glad the conditions today are not perfect. I realize how fine a ride she really is. 20MPH head winds for 100+ miles and she still feels fast and comfortable. She beckons me to climb back on and sprint the last 15 miles. The words of old man Don ring in my ear. Finish Strong. No matter what the ride was he always insisted that I finish strong. Finish fast. So Mia and I picked up the pace and would have made Don proud as we danced up the last few climbs and raced the passing cars on Hwy 77. One final stop at the Warda store for 4 ice cream sandwiches and two cans of Pepsi.

The last half mile of riding was spent sitting up no handed and shoving the ice cream in my mouth. I got to the gate of Bluff Creek Ranch and dismounted for the half mile walk up the driveway. I think this was the worst part of the day. Walking a gravel and rock driveway with two cattle guards in road cycling shoes. Mia would not like this terrain so I carried her as I drank the two cans of Pepsi and reflected on the day’s ride. I would like to have seen a faster average speed on the cycling computer but considering the wind I was more than pleased with 20.7MPH.

Very shortly after arriving Amanda had food and Pepsi in my hands. What a sweet girl.

Saturday I spent cleaning and waxing Mia. She really did a great job. I love her.

Jeff
 

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The first week of June I flew to Northern California with Mia. I rode from Redding, California to the town of Shasta City and then up to the snow line at about 8000 ft. The round trip was 169 miles with 16,040 ft of climbing. It was a glorious ride!!
<P>
 

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Bike looks terrific! I like the name too.
 

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If you don't mind, can you tell us how much your bike cost you?

It's beautiful, and I want to know how much I would spend for a bike like yours.

Thanks.
 

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The Avant

I just built up an '06 Avant. I purchased it from a friend who is on a sponsored team. The Avant was their team bike through '07, but this year they changed their bike sponsor. Lucky for me. Purchased the frame, fork and seatpost and stem for $700. It is used but in beautiful shape. I built it up with Campy 10 speed Record that I took off of another bike.

I am somewhat of a bike collector. I currently have an '04 Trek Madone, '06 Merckx Corsa Extra (yes one of the 600 7/11 frames that were manufactured that year), '01 Trek 5200, and '03 Cannondale Slice TT bike. All my bikes are built up with Campy 10 speed.

The Avant is far and away the best of my collection. It has the comfort of the steel framed Merckx (okay, maybe not quite as comfortable, but close!) and the stiffness of the Madone. In fact, I'm thinking of selling the Madone and 5200 because, after riding the Avant, I really don't have any desire to ride the Treks anymore.

I just did over 200 miles over the 3 day weekend and the De Rosa was smooth as silk. I really like the beefy tubing and bottom line is, you don't see any of them around town. Best purchse I've ever made.
 
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